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authors, bestseller, books

Influencing bestseller lists for fun

On May 26th, 2007 a mass of people from across Canada and the US (and elsewhere) visited Amazon.com to purchase a book: Frankie Manning: Ambassador of Lindy Hop. Why? May 26th is Frankie’s birthday and everyone thought it’d be cool to put his new book on top of the Amazon Bestseller list as a gift.

I don’t know what you’re thinking, but when I first heard this I thought: “Lame-o” (and was silly enough to post that in a forum, though more politely, and endured the resultant flaming). Of course my opinion changed slightly when I realized Frankie himself had thought this would be a fun birthday wish.

I don’t use bestseller lists too often, though I know there are some out there that are useful tools for librarians – I just don’t consider Amazon to be one of them. Especially considering how few it takes to alter it. Frankie’s book naturally did not make it to the top (who can compete with Harry Potter pre-orders?!) but it fared pretty darn well.

Frankie posted a message on his new site thanking his fans and detailing how high up he got on the Amazon lists: #7 on Amazon Overall Best-seller list; #1 in the Entertainment, Movers and Shakers, and Art and Photography categories and #2 in the Biography category.

I did buy a copy even though I was out of town (friends with laptops are great!). I took a workshop that Frankie taught last year and it was fantastic; can’t believe he’s 93!!! It’s pretty amazing how he can still dance!

Oh my, and I just discovered the co-author is a librarian! Haha! Great! It’s actually weird how many librarians swing dance (I can think of 6 of the top of my head).

So, if you ever write a book and want to make it a little more visible for a short period of time, just get all your friends, virtual and otherwise, to buy your book on the same day.

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About Jen

An instructor, a reader, a dog-owner, and advocate; that's how I define myself and these aspects directly impact my interests and conversations.

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